It was a real honour to present Agency for Creative Production at the Key Cities All-Party Parliamentary Group meeting earlier this week addressing ‘Skills for Cities, Skills for Life’.
Drawing on the Key Cities Skills Conference earlier this year and a survey of cities conducted since, the meeting discussed how we can make sure cities have access to the skills that allow them to build on their strengths (Skills for Cities), and individuals have transferable skills and options for reskilling to support them throughout their working life (Skills for Life).
Skills are a crucial element in growth, the green economy and levelling up. We know this is true across our South East region – the Thames Estuary and in Southend. The Agency for Creative Production responds directly to a combination of identified needs in the live events sector, developing an innovative place-based approach through close collaboration with industry, education, young people and audiences.
1 in 8 UK businesses are creative industries with 95% of these employing 9 people or fewer (source: Creative UK). It is crucial to develop innovative new approaches to skills that work for the creative sector. The Agency for Creative Production is embedding new models of skills development to expand and diversify the live events sector through a pioneering skills programme with a strong social purpose.
Agency for Creative Production grew from our team at Metal, after we ran Village Green the multi-arts festival in Southend for 10 years. Agency for Creative Production has received vital investment from Creative Estuary through its Re:Generation 2031 programme, whose aims are to develop the next generation of cultural and creative leaders, by cultivating sector-led skills-focused opportunities in North Kent and South Essex.
In time, the vision is that Agency for Creative Production will enable a growth in live events across the region initiated by a new generation of skilled, locally-based creative professionals.